Stretchability is one of the most important functional properties of Mozzarella cheese, but no objective and widely accepted technique exists for evaluation; most of the cheese stretchability tests are influenced by the ambient conditions. This paper demonstrates a technique, which is novel and relatively simple, to evaluate the stretchability of Mozzarella cheese objectively. In an oil bath, melted cheese is stretched by a hook probe, controlled by an Instron tensile tester (Instron Corp., Norwood, MA); cheese strands are lifted from the melted cheese reservoir to a stretch length of 300 mm, when the load and extension data are recorded by the Instron tensile tester. This test overcomes other tests' drawbacks, such as subjective stretching speeds and variations in ambient temperature and humidity. Through the test comparison on standard Mozzarella, the modified stretching test in an oil bath has greater repeatability than the original test without oil bath. From the load and extension curve, the yield load is measured to evaluate the stretchability. In the meantime, the inversion point extension of necking is also measured based on polymer study, producing more repeatable results than the yield load. The modified 3-prong hook test was applied to Mozzarella cheese samples with different processing conditions, including the screw conditions (screw time, speed, and temperature), draining pH, calcium content, and fat content, and significant differences were found between these samples and the control sample.
Ma, X., James, B., Zhang, L., & Emanuelsson-Patterson, E. A. C. (2012). The stretchability of Mozzarella cheese evaluated by a temperature-controlled 3-prong hook test. Journal of Dairy Science, 95(10), 5561-5568. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2012-5486